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Furniture Footprints

Martha Stewart Living, September 2006

Before you spend an afternoon rearranging the furniture (or invest in a new set), do a trial run with a set of paper templates -- no heavy lifting required. Measure dimensions of each piece, then transfer them onto kraft paper. Cut out the templates, label them, then lay them on the floor in the intended spots. If you feel like leaving the templates for a few days (to ensure that the new arrangement flows well and is practical), stick them in place with safe-release painter's tape.

Comments (10)

  • 26 Sep, 2011

    This idea works great for empty spaces....and you don't have to make your own. There are templates available online. I saw them @

  • 25 Sep, 2011

    for everyone who said use graph paper must not have ever used graph paper since it takes hours to measure and graph the room and the size of furniture. Martha's way allows one to quickly visualize and walk around the future arrangement.

  • 21 Sep, 2010

    I think this is a great idea, especially if you are adding something new to a room. Kraft paper, or even newspaper, is an excellent choice because it is large. I have done something similar which really helped in determining placements.

  • 21 Jan, 2010

    I agree, LJKN. This tip doesn't seem to work unless the room is already empty! Even then, graph paper would be much easier.

  • 21 Jan, 2010

    Wouldn't it be much, much easier to do this on graph paper!

  • 20 Jan, 2010

    We did this before we bought a new sectional. We were unsure if it would fit the room since it looked really big in the store but once we did the paper template we realized that it would fit with no problem. A really good way around an expensive case of "buyers remorse."

  • 20 Jan, 2010

    jSeems to me you still need to move the furniture in ther room out of the way in order to place the pieces of paper

  • 20 Jan, 2010

    I don't get it...You lay giant pieces of paper on top of the furniture in the room? How does that help? I feel like a dunce!

  • 20 Jan, 2010

    instead of moving your furniture and then realizing you don't like it and having to move it back, you create templates out of paper and lay everything where you think you'd like it. Saves your back; scratches on the floor or uplifting your carpet especially if you are moving everything by yourself.

  • 16 May, 2009

    Wait, so what are these for? I was sort of lost.